Celebrate Women’s History Month with us! This year, we’re looking forward by honoring women across the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and female conservationists who are making history in our agency and in conservation. With each #ScienceWoman, we’ll share a photo and a couple questions and answers about her work. Stay tuned for posts throughout the month!
Kathryn Jahn represents our agency and the Department of the Interior as the case manager in the Hudson River natural resource damage assessment. She spends time in both our Northeast Regional Office in Massachusetts and our New York Field Office in Cortland.
Kathryn studied biology and geology at the State University of New York (both Binghamton and Buffalo). She says, “I started college as an English major, and still consider myself, at heart, to be a writer. As a fish and wildlife biologist, I spend most of my days writing.”
Q. What’s your favorite thing about working for the U.S. Field and Wildlife Service? A. One of the things I most enjoy about my work is that every day brings something new – it’s like a puzzle with each day one more piece fitting in. I have the privilege of working with the best researchers and scientists and most highly respected experts in the field. And I believe — in the words of Theodore Roosevelt, another New Yorker: “Far and away the best prize life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing,” and that’s exactly what I get to do and do every day with incredible colleagues who share my passion.
Q. If you could have one incredible animal adaptation, what would it be? A. I’ve often thought that being “polyphyodont” (animals whose teeth are continuously replaced) rather than “diphyodont” (two successive sets of teeth), as humans are, would be a much better design. Imagine if, like sharks, we could just grow a new set of teeth as we needed them. Or like rabbits, if our molars and incisors were all continuously growing! No need to go to the dentist for fillings, or root canals, or caps! Just wait till the new teeth come in! Of course, we’d all be gnawing on the wood furniture in our offices, or sitting around chewing on logs at night, or be scheduling “filings” with our dentists, so there might be some downsides to being polyphyodont.
See more #ScienceWoman profiles!